Posts from January 2007

Jan 07

“we hear nothing of their butter”

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 625 views

boarin the course of routine pie debate in Another Place, i came across this TREASURE TROVE: cookery tips from the reign of good king dick!

why did they think this and what made them stop?

FT + Proven By Science5 comments • 748 views

lemur“The taunt of having tails was a common accusation against the English in mediaeval times, and was even occasionally heard in the 17th century, in the epiphet, ‘The Tailed English’.” (footnote in British Folk Tales and Legends: A Sampler, Katharine M. Briggs, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977

Jan 07

Food Science Day 2: 7 – Flying Fruit Followup

Proven By Science + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 983 views

2005’s hugely successful Flying Fruit Experiment answered a burning question but gave rise to another. The small and unassuming apricot was the winner but supply problems meant that this was the only bum-shaped fruit available in our sample. We began to wonder about the potential of other bumfruits. Can the smoother, harder nectarine be thrown so far that it would hit you in the back of the head? Could a peach be sent into orbit one day? Once again, we set out for the FreakyTrigger comestible-chucking range in Peckham Rye Park.


Poptimism – Lesson Twenty Seven

Poptimism PodcastPost a comment • 820 views

Hip Hop Is Dead – NaS and Will.I.Am

With Every Heartbeat – Kleerup ft Robyn

Sabim – BossAC

Electronic Battle Weapon – The Chemical Brothers

Come To Love – Trademark


Jan 07

BENNY HILL – “Ernie, The Fastest Milkman In The West”

FT + Popular53 comments • 12,177 views

#307, 11th December 1971


Comedy hits come in many varieties. Some are parodies, many rely on the incongruity of a comedian singing a well-known song, others are simply desperate reels of catchphrases slapped over any track the producers had lying around. “Ernie” is none of these – it’s a bona fide comic song, such as might have been sung in 1871 – minus most of its bluer jokes. It gives Benny Hill – best known as a boob-obsessed physical comedian – an opportunity to show off his comic timing as a singer, and he seizes it with chortling relish.


Quatermass Armageddon – John Mills v Bruce Willis

FTPost a comment • 1,274 views

Quatermass ConclusionThe final Quatermass (on TV) story ends with, hem hem, someone having to stay behind to set off a nucular bomb. This will divert the menace lurking out there in space threatening to destroy all life, having taken 1000s of lives already. In Armageddon they’ve already destroyed central Paris (hurray!), shown front and centre. In Quatermass they’ve destroyed all the young people gathered in Wembley Stadium (hurray!) and a stonehenge-alike (hurray!), all conveniently alluded to off-screen with the SFX you’d expect from 1979 TV.

[SPOILER ALERT – if you want to see Quatermass Concluded/4/1979 look away. If you want to see Armageddon, consider yourself in receipt of a bag of pity.]

Bruce Willis prises the bomb-setting-off role from his son-in-law, but John Mills is having a heart attack having just unexpectedly found his lost grand-daughter – she gives him a hand reaching for the button…

Despite this final coincidence, the Quatermass story works out better on so many levels, but it gets a fat raspberry for being so relentlessly down on “the kids”.


Non-Thrillers For Kids: The Ring-O-Bells Mystery

FT + The Brown Wedge1 comment • 1,461 views

Most of Enid Blyton’s books are either fantasies or thrillers, of a sort: a gang of kids, formalised or not, in a run-in with adult crooks. I don’t know if she came up with the formula herself, but commercially speaking she is its definitive exponent.

I never read Blyton much as a kid, and until I took two months to slog through The Ring O Bells Mystery I had forgotten why. I’d mistakenly attributed it to formulaic plotting and a lack of ideas – in fact I think I probably shunned her books because she’s a genuinely boring writer. Not because her stories lack incident – Ring-O-Bells is jam packed – or character, but because of her remorseless inability to focus on interesting detail at the expense of the useless stuff.


Oooh, me Chalmers are giving me gip

FT8 comments • 1,920 views

My further extensive research on celebrity Cockney Rhyming Slang reveals that Judith is not alone: Clement Freud is a slightly more straightforward curse when your piles are playing up.


Jan 07

Freaky Trigger and the Lollards of Pop – Week 4

Lollards PodcastPost a comment • 1,198 views

The fourth installment in the continuing radio adventures of Freaky Trigger, as originally broadcast earlier today on Resonance 104.4FM between 12pm and 1pm. This weeks show features Dr Pub on food, the grammar of wishing, Judith Chalmers ’07, artificial languages and even more Truth about Drugs.


SLADE – “Coz I Luv You”

FT + Popular29 comments • 6,444 views

#306, 13th November 1971


Probably my least favourite Slade single, simply because Jim Lea’s electric violin does my head in. (And reminds me of the Wonder Stuff!) Personal demons aside, the violin does add a nasty edge to the song, making the band’s menace even more nerve-tightening: not many alleged love songs sound this feral.